ASEAN Plus Three Summit held online
Following the activities of the 37th ASEAN Summit and the related Summits, in the afternoon of November 14, 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the ASEAN +3 Summit with the participation of the Leaders of ASEAN countries, the President of South Korea, the Prime Minister of China, the Prime Minister of Japan and the Secretary General of ASEAN.
Opening the Meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pointed out the strengths a of the ASEAN + 3 cooperation in responding to crisis, especially in effective coordination to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic from the first day of the outbreak. The Prime Minister suggested the ASEAN + 3 countries continue to maintain the momentum of cooperation, step by step repel COVID-19, minimize the impact of the epidemic, stabilize the macro-economic foundations, and promote comprehensive and sustainable recovery.
Exchanging views at the Meeting, the countries highly appreciated the important role of ASEAN + 3 cooperation in maintaining peace, security, stability and development in East Asia with ASEAN being the center. The countries expressed the sharing of common values that are highlighted in many important ASEAN documents, especially in the Statement on the Importance of Maintaining Peace and Stability in Southeast Asia.
The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the results achieved by ASEAN + 3 economic cooperation in 2019: trade turnover between countries reached 890 billion USD, accounting for 31.6% of total trade turnover of ASEAN; investment capital from China, Japan and South Korea into ASEAN reached 32 billion USD, accounting for 19.9% of total investment flows into ASEAN. These countries have also significantly contributed to the ASEAN Community building process, the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Work Plan III of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).
The Leaders noted of the Report on Implementation of the 3rd phase of the ASEAN + 3 Work Plan, committed to promote effective implementation of the Work Plan. The Countries agreed to focus cooperation in tacking non-traditional security issues such as human trafficking, cyber crime, terrorism, and drug trafficking...; to take full advantage of opportunities given by the 4.0 Industrial Revolution, to promote digital economic development and renovative growth. The Leaders also acknowledged positive results in the conclusion of the RCEP negotiation as well as in the cooperation areas of health, labor, finance, cultural exchange, people-to-people connection, gender equality, environment...
On the cooperation in response to COVID-19, the Countries agreed to further strengthen the role of the ASEAN + 3 mechanism in the effective control and prevention of pandemics in the region in light of the Joint Declaration of the Special ASEAN+3 Summit in response to COVID-19. ASEAN countries highly appreciate the contributions of China, Japan, and South Korea in implementing the initiatives of joint response, such as the establishment of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies. The Countries particularly underscored the importance of promoting post-pandemic recovery, welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN + 3 Plan of Action on Mitigating the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at the Meeting, Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation, affirmed attaching the importance of ASEAN's central role in promoting cooperation and peace in the region. The Chinese Premier said that the synergy of the countries in the fight against the pandemic is the best evidence of solidarity and friendship, supported efforts to promote economic linkages and recovery. The President of the Republic of Korea looked forwards to ASEAN + 3 to strengthen cooperation for peace and prosperity, enhance economic self-reliance and facilitate inclusive economic development. The Prime Minister of Japan expressed his desire to promote cooperation among countries to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, and highly appreciated the launch of the ASEAN Center to respond to public health emergencies and emerging epidemics (AC-PHEED). The Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea pledged to contribute US $ 1 million each, and allocated US $ 300,000 from the ASEAN + 3 Cooperation Fund to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund.
The Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairman of ASEAN and Chairman of the ASEAN + 3 Summit, stressed that the top priority in this period is to focus on controlling and repelling COVID-19, gradually overcoming the consequences and promoting sustainable recovery. The Prime Minister suggested that China, Japan and South Korea share with ASEAN their experiences and advantages in epidemiological research and public health prevention; support the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
Exchanging views on the international and regional situation, the Prime Minister emphasized that with China and Japan as economic leaders, the countries should promote close cooperation and regional economic linkage, which includes the effective implementation of the existing Free Trade Agreements between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea. The Prime Minister was confident that the early signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would help further promote multilateral trade and regional economic linkage efforts.
The Prime Minister concurrently reaffirmed ASEAN common stance on building the South China Sea of peace, friendship and cooperation in the law biding spririt, including the UNCLOS 1982, supporting dialogue and cooperation for sustainable peace, the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
To conclude the Meeting, the Chairman of Meeting released the Chairman’s Statement on the results of the ASEAN+3 Summit, endorsed the ASEAN+3 Leaders’ Statement on Enhancing ASEAN+3 cooperation to promote economic and financial resilience in the emerging challenges.